Thursday, 19 July 2018

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St. Paul, MN 55106
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Blogs > A Harsh and Dreadful Thing

A Harsh and Dreadful Thing

In his classic novel Brothers Karamazov, Feodor Dostoevsky tells the story of Father Zossima, a wise and humble Russian monk.

In the story people travel from nearby towns and villages, seeking the good Father's spiritual advice. One day a woman arrives at his cell to talk to him. She has a big problem, the woman explains.  Slowly, over the course of many years, she has lost her faith, and therefore, her reason to live.  Father Zossima must give her a reason to believe again, she says, or she will kill herself.

The priest responds,   “I think I can help.”  "Go home, and every day, do something concrete to love the people around you. And you will find, slowly but surely, that you can’t help but believe.”

The woman seeking his advice was skeptical, “That’s it?  All I have to do is love the people around me?”

“Ah”,  Zossima replies, “love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams. It may very well kill you."

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